Changes are coming to the Nissan Altima and Maxima for 2012. While next year's Maxima will feature freshened styling and a new trim package, the 2012 Altima will see its lineup pared down, losing its hybrid variant in what will likely be its final model year before a full redesign.

The 2012 Maxima will receive the biggest changes, including revised styling both inside and out. While Nissan has yet to release images of the stylistic updates, the automaker promises a new front fascia, new 18- and 19-inch wheels and new rear lights on the outside, as well as updated switches, lighting and trim accents on the inside.

Also new for the Maxima will be a well-equipped new Limited Edition Package, which gives the sedan a sporty look thanks to Xenon headlights in a smoked housing, 18-inch "Dark Hyper" wheels, a rear spoiler, fog lights, and a chrome grille. Rounding out the new package will be several interior upgrades including a rearview mirror-mounted compass and aluminum accents on the doors and center console.

Nissan's popular Altima midsize sedan will also see a few revisions for 2012, including the loss of its limited-supply hybrid model. Sold only in California and in the several east coast states which adopted the Golden State's tough emissions standards, the 33mpg Altima Hybrid represents just a fraction of the model's sales despite being one of the most fuel-efficient midsize sedans on the market.

The 2012 Altima's other major update will be the availability of a Value Package, which will add Bluetooth, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear lever, and Homelink to the 2.5S sedan. Other changes for 2012 come in the form of new colors: both the Altima and Maxima will offer a new gray shade dubbed Dark Slate, while Java Metallic, a new brown, will be available exclusively on the Maxima.

Nissan says the 2012 Maxima and Altima are scheduled to go on sale later this summer. If you're interested in getting your hands on a 2011 Altima Hybrid before production ends, have no fear: a quick search on reveals nearly 400 available nationwide.

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Jeffrey Archer is fortunate to have turned a passion for cars into a career. His wide-ranging automotive experience includes work for automakers and dealers in addition to covering the news. When not writing, he spends his time searching for unique cars on

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